(The Center Square) – A Rhode Island plan to install electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state has gained federal approval.
The Biden administration green-lighted the state’s plan to build electric vehicle infrastructure that was filed by the state’s Department of Transportation, Gov. Dan McKee said.
“Electric vehicle charging station infrastructure is a critical component of our plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector to achieve the objectives of the Act on Climate,” McKee said in a release. “This federal funding will help us expand our existing network of electric vehicle charging stations, making it easier than ever for electric vehicle drivers to find a place to charge.”
Rhode Island will receive $3.8 million in federal dollars through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in fiscal year 2023, and is set to receive an additional $22.9 million over the next five years to support the program through the Federal Highway’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program.
“RIDOT and our partners set a tight timeframe for development for the plan, and in fact Rhode Island was one of the few states to submit its plan early, allowing the federal government to act on it quickly,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said in a release. “Now that they have, we are excited to continue working with the other agencies on the EC4 and move closer to turning these dollars into a smart, statewide interconnect electric vehicle charging station network.”
The state’s Department of Transportation, according to the release, has joined forces with EC4 members within the state’s Office of Energy Resources and the Department of Environmental Management to develop and deploy the plan.
According to the release, the program is designed to construct main corridors along with coordinating the use of all direct current fast charging stations, workforce development, and maintenance and upgrade. The state has designated Interstate 95 as a priority through an Alternative Fuel Corridor for investment.
The program’s goal, according to the release, is to build an interconnected network that will cull data collection, access, and reliability for charging stations, along with prioritizing funding to fill gaps within the charging market, support the state’s transportation network, and develop a local workforce.
Over the past decade, charging stations have been deployed across the state, and 300 publicly accessible charging stations exist in the state to support to the nearly 6,000 electric vehicles in the state.